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He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata! (What is the most important thing in the world? It is people!)

This paper highlights the importance of people as a central factor in improving health for M aori (Indigenous people of New Zealand). How wh anau (family) relationships, connections, values and inspiration are integral to achieving Indigenous health goals is explained. Descriptions of how community researchers, healthcare staff, consumers and academics worked together to design interventions for two health services (in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions) is included. Through highlighting the experiences of health consumers, the potential for future interventions to reduce the advancement of pre-diabetes among wh anau is described. Evidence from the study interviews reinforces the importance of wh anau and whakapapa (heritage) as enabling factors for Indigenous people to improve health. Specifically, the positive effect of wh anau enhancing activities that support peoples’ aspirations of tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) in their lives when engaging with health care has been observed. This study highlights the many positives that have emerged, and offers an opportunity for taking primary health to the next level by placing wh anau alongside Indigenous primary care providers at the centre of change strategies.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Masters-Awatere, B., Rarere, M., Gilbert, R., Manuel, C., & Scott, N. (2019). He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata! (What is the most important thing in the world? It is people!). Australian Journal of Primary Health, 25, 435–442. https://doi.org/10.1071/PY19027
CSIRO Publishing
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Australian Journal of Primary Health. Journal Compilation © La Trobe University 2019 Open Access CC BY-NC-ND